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Evolutionary determinants of war


  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Morath, Florian


This paper considers evolutionarily stable decisions about whether to initiate violent conflict rather than accepting a peaceful sharing outcome. Focusing on small sets of players such as countries in a geographically confined area, we use Schaffer’s (1988) concept of evolutionary stability. We find that players ‘evolutionarily stable preferences widen the range of peaceful resource allocations that are rejected in favor of violent conflict, compared to the Nash equilibrium outcomes. Relative advantages in fighting strength are reflected in the equilibrium set of peaceful resource allocations.

Suggested Citation

  • Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2013. "Evolutionary determinants of war," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 418, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:418

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:03:p:717-735_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
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    Cited by:

    1. Changxia Ke & Kai A. Konrad & Florian Morath, 2015. "Alliances In The Shadow Of Conflict," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 854-871, April.

    More about this item


    Conflict; Contest; Endogenous fighting; Balance of power; Evolutionary stability;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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